In most cases an original debt can only appear on your credit report for seven years and 180 days after you first fell behind on the debt. That timeline sticks in many people’s minds and leads to confusion when they request their credit report and find that much older debts are still being reported. Here is one reason that a debt may actually appear on your report for decades.
The most common exception to the seven year rule is a judgment. A judgment will stay on your credit report for seven years after it is issued. Additionally, if you do not pay the judgment, it can appear on your credit report until the issuing state’s statute of limitations expires. That can be up to 20 years. The worst part is that a judgment can be renewed indefinitely, meaning that it can appear on your credit report throughout your lifetime if it is unpaid.
The best thing to do is not panic. Contact the holder of any judgment and attempt to settle for less than the face value. You may want to enlist a Texas debt settlement firm to take care of this. If a settlement is reached, get it in writing, then pay the debt. If a settlement can not be reached, then arrange a payment plan. This should prevent any garnishment actions.